Chapter 11 - Step 5

This step involves adding the canard tips.

Canard Tip Block November 10, 2001. I cut a block of foam to the rough dimensions, drilled a hole for the hinge pin, and microed the block into place. For now the hole is big enough for a soda straw (same as the ones used in the landing gear leg). I may use a thicker tube like the plans call for but the straw, microed in place, should probably be fine.

Note: Make sure the hinge pins are sticking out far enough through the foam so you can remove them. I didn't even think of that until the next day. I found one was sticking out about an inch and the other ended about 1/2" inside the foam - oops. I should be able to get to it once I start carving the bottom of the tip.

Aft View Upper Tip November 11, 2001. This is where a builder's artistry comes into play. Carving the tips requires you to sand the foam until it seems nice to you. I struggled a while with the first tip. Going slowly, sanding edges I had a good feel for. Slowly I made everything meet together and flow smoothly. The second tip took about a 1/4 the time to do.

I used a hacksaw blade to cut off the obvious bigger chunks. I then moved to using a glass jar with a piece of 36 grit paper to carve the bulk of the "flair". I used a wood block with 36 grit to rough curve the leading edge. From here I switched to 120 grit to get the final contour. Lastly I used scrap styrofoam to do the final, finesse sanding. It is really neat how you can shape foam with foam.

Front View Upper Tip November 11, 2001. Here is the same tip from the front. The biggest struggle with shaping this is that you need to do just the top, glass it, then shape the bottom. My biggest concern is that after shaping the bottom I may wish to change some of the top. But of course it will be glassed. We shall see.

Upper Tip Glassed November 11, 2001. The next big mystery is how to glass the top. The plans are very vague - use two crossing plies of glass - UNI preferred. I decided to glass as little of the top as I could so I have the most flexibility to tweak the foam after shaping the bottom.

Underside Contoured November 13, 2001. Here is the underside of the tip after contouring.

Another View of Tip Bottom November 13, 2001. Another view of the tip underside.